Fighting Over the Cross: Anti-Religion Group Threatens Lawsuit over Display of a Cross in City’s Logo
(EEW Magazine News)--We are living is serious times where Christianity is being more frequently targeted. The Wisconsin based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is coming after Ohio to force officials to drop religious symbols from the community's logo, claiming the graphic's display of a cross violates "the separation of church and state.”
The Christian Post says The Steubenville logo, which was designed by local businessman Mark Nelson in 2011, features the cross from Franciscan University's Christ the King Chapel and historic landmarks like Fort Steuben and the Veterans' Memorial Bridge.
"Steubenville is a theocracy and is a Christian city where non-Christians or nonbelievers are not favored citizens," FFRF's chief spokesman, Annie Laurie Gaylor, had said of the logo. She also insisted that, "the city may not depict the university chapel and cross because to do so places the city's imprimatur behind Christianity."
See the official letter here.
Initially, it seemed the city would cave in to avoid an expensive legal battle. But, according to Canton Ohio news site CantonRep.com, Earlier this week, city officials put the brakes on an earlier plan to remove the symbols after a groundswell of support and offers from lawyers who want to help oppose the move.
It remains to be seen how this will all play out.
The Steubenville logo controversy is reminiscent of an earlier case this year where Jessica Alquist, a 16-year-old Atheist student won a legal battle over Cranston High School West, in Cranston, R.I.. The school was forced to remove a prayer banner that began with "Our Heavenly Father" and ended with "Amen," which had been on the school wall since 1963.
"It's not something that belongs in a school," said Jessica in an interview." When I saw it there I knew it didn't belong. And every time I saw it, it was a reminder that my school wasn't doing the right thing, and that my school didn't necessarily support me in my views, so it was offensive."
Though many were upset with Alquist, she held her ground. "Even if kids in school hate you. Even if there's nasty comments all over the Internet. It's important to just stand for what you believe in."
The kind of resolve, fervor, and commitment we see from atheist and anti-religious groups should be motivate Christians to boldly proclaim the gospel, though it will be viewed unfavorably and certain circles.
Evangelism in this day and age is becoming increasingly challenging, as Christians are painted as hateful, bigoted, exclusionists.
But this should not surprise us. The world hated Jesus and they will feel the same way about us, His followers.